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Hearing that familiar song

September 23, 2009 - Linda Lobeck
Having my birthday this week has been kind of weird — my first one without my Mom. She would start out the day by calling and singing “Happy Birthday” to me first thing in the morning. It would be this gravelly voice singing slightly off-key, and now I miss it. My Mom made a big deal about birthdays growing up and I’ve tried to do the same for my own kids. When we were growing up, we had parties with friends but always a family party too with at least a cake and ice cream. As we get older, we tend to want to downplay our birthdays, especially as we edge closer to a “birthday of substance.” But there is always someone to remember your birthday. I had a busy day and my friends brought in a cake to celebrate at work and my husband took me out for supper. Both of my sisters had to call and remind me of how old I am as well as my kids and nephews. I tried not to think about not hearing that song from my mom until I was home later on. Then, the phone rang, and I heard a voice singing to me that old familiar, “Happy birthday to you...” It wasn’t my mom, but a good friend of mine. She had no idea that was a tradition between my mom and I, but it was just what I needed to make my birthday complete!


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